Updated July 2016
Friends of Mine in Richmond is the cafe equivalent of a friendship circle. Everything in the cheery establishment, from the produce to the artwork to the furniture, has been sourced from friends or friends of friends of the original owner – hence the name.
The cafe has been in operation for 5 years and is still going strong, despite being in a location with almost no foot traffic.
We perch ourselves on the large communal table in the front room and peruse the all day menu. It contains hard to decipher headings like ‘good mornin’ friends’ ‘our favourite friends’ ‘something new kneaded daily.’ Anyhow I revert back to my standard tactic for tackling long cafe menus – a healthy savoury dish and an indulgent sweet dish.
Certainly you do not need to eat two dishes unless you’re very hungry, as they are substantial! My spiced chicken salad contains slices of marinated chicken breast and a huge mound of wild rice, sweet potato, cranberries, hazelnuts with lots of pomegranate yoghurt ($19.90). It is superfood maxed out and I can hardly finish.
But I have already committed to the red velvet ricotta hotcakes ($18.90)! These are definitely worth trying, as the texture of hotcakes is sublime – lightly crunchy on the outside, spongy on the inside. I prefer them without the additional ramekin of maple syrup as the vanilla mascarpone and macerated berries are sweet enough in balance with the slight sweetness of hotcakes. The only niggle is the rock hard Persian fairy floss – too long out of the packet I suspect and really quite unnecessary except for visual effect.
The service is friendly and fast, with lots of staff on the floor buzzing around.
Friends of Mine is a now veteran of the Melbourne cafe scene, a competitive food-centric city where eateries close on average after three years. Five years on it’s as busy and vibrant as ever so their formula of interesting food, good coffee and friendly service is still spot on.
- No reservations after 9am on weekends and public holidays;
- ATM inside (used to be cash only but EFTPOS now available!);
- Limited free street parking on Swan Street and around Burnley station;
- 5 minutes walk from Burnley train station;
- Stop 15 on #70 tram.